It was a busy day for the Dallas Stars and their pending free agents. On Thursday afternoon, the team announced that they had re-signed forward Mattias Janmark to a one-year extension.
With Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final looming, the Dallas Stars took advantage of the dead time on Thursday morning and afternoon. As a result, they built a pretty busy day for themselves in terms of their pending free agents.
Instead of waiting for the respective deadlines as they have in past summers, the Stars got to work with their pending free agent class on Thursday morning.
They started the day off by re-signing pending UFA Roman Polak to a one-year extension worth $1.75 million. The 33-year-old defenseman put together a respectable debut season with Dallas after signing with the team on July 1, 2018, leading the team in blocked shots and serving as a solid veteran piece on an otherwise young Stars blue line.
But on Thursday afternoon, the Stars made their second splash with a pending RFA by signing forward Mattias Janmark to a one-year extension worth $2.3 million. It’s the minimum amount that the 26-year-old could have made in a new contract, considering he made the same amount last season on a one-year deal that helped the Dallas Stars avoid arbitration. As a result, it isn’t necessarily counting against the Stars’ cap space in any significant way.
“Mattias is a relentless forward who combines his tremendous skating ability with sound positioning, making him a disruptive force,” GM Jim Nill said in the press release. “He is a versatile player that can play up and down the lineup at even strength, and was one of the key members of our penalty killing group, which was a top-five unit all season.”
Janmark finished the 2018-19 season with six goals and 25 points along with a -4 rating in 81 games played. He added on one goal, three points, and a -1 rating in seven games played.
And while those numbers were the lowest of his three-year career, it was an interesting season for Janmark as he was shifted around the lineup on a regular basis. He also broke his foot in mid-March and it never fully healed, which led to his limited playing time in the postseason.
On the positive side, he served as a key member of the Dallas penalty kill and helped the Stars finish in the top five in PK percentage.
Considering Janmark’s injury and production, this one-year contract seems to carry another “prove it” implication. Janmark possesses impressive speed, even after undergoing knee surgery that could have ended his career back in 2016, and incorporates it into his play. He can break into the zone and assist in helping the Stars transition quickly. In addition, he’s also a solid defensive forward that plays with structure and patience.
With Janmark in the fold for another year, the Stars have a young depth scoring option that can play on any line and contribute in a commendable way (remember, he’s just one season removed from a 19-goal, 34-point campaign), while also helping out on defense and special teams. On the other hand, Janmark has a chance to prove his reliability and earn a longer-term deal.
With the Janmark and Polak deals done, Dallas is quickly sorting through their free agent class. We’ll wait for the next move.